"In the beginning of time, God created the wonders of the world. When he was finished, hew saw that he had many leftover pieces. He had parts of rivers and valleys, of oceans and lakes, of glaciers and desert, of mountains and forests, and of meadows and hills. Rather than to let such beauty go to waste, God put them all together and cast them to the most remote corner of the earth. This is how Chile was born. A Chilean Legend"
From the salty arid North to the glacier-crowded South, Chile is an awe-inspiring example of nature’s splendor and power. A realm of startling contrasts and breathtaking beauty, Chile’s attractions range from the towering volcanic peaks of the Andes to the ancient forests of the Lake District. Here, plenty of opportunities are available for the nature-minded and active traveler, owing to the large number of firstrate national parks. Not only famous for the spectacular Torres del Paine, considered by many to be one of nature’s finest creations, Chile offers many other unusual and extraordinary places such as the legendary Polynesian Easter Island, remote and out-of-the-way spots along the Carretera Austral and the secluded pre-Hispanic villages of the Andean Highlands.
For anyone who has ever been fascinated by geography, the long, slender line of Chile has always proved irresistible. Chile stretches over 4,300 km (2,700 mi) along the south-western coast of South America, a distance roughly the same as that from San Francisco to New York, or Edinburgh to Baghdad. At the same time, its width never exceeds 240 km (150 mi), making it more than eighteen times longer than its widest point. The most eye-catching landmark of Chile’s unique shape is the massive, virtually impassable wall of the Andes, a mountain range which is still rising and which boasts more than fifty active volcanoes. It would however be a misconception to picture Chile as nothing more than the Andes falling away into the Pacific Ocean. All along its length the country is marked by a narrow depression between the mountains and the sea. To the north the land rises and becomes more arid, until one reaches the forbidding Atacama Desert, one of the most inhospitable territories on earth.
To the south exactly the opposite can be seen: the land between mountains and ocean fades into the mystifying archipelagic labyrinth that terminates in Chilean Patagonia. Chile’s southern extremity is marked by Cape Horn, a treacherous headland surrounded by almost continuously storm-tossed seas and passable only through the foggy stillness of the Strait of Magellan. At the heart of the country one comes across a long and expansive river valley, a five hundred mile corridor dominated in the north by top-quality vineyards and farmlands and in the south by primeval forests and enchanting lakes. Whilst Santiago anchors the northern and more prosperous part of the central valley, the lush Lake District to the south is the homeland of Chile’s indigenous people, the Mapuche. Chilean territory also includes two Pacific jewels: the Juan Fernandez Islands and the famous Easter Island, both of which are managed as National Parks. The Juan Fernandez Islands lie around 670 km off the Chilean coast, while Easter Island is situated 3700 km away in distant Polynesia. Chile’s climate is as diverse as its geography. Aside from the extreme climatic conditions of the Andes and the Atacama, the country enjoys a temperate climate.
In recent years we have seen a strong increase in tourism in Chile. Aware of Chile’s wealth of natural attractions, the government has set out to make sustainable tourism one of the pillars of the country’s economic development. In order to achieve this, a prime concern is to strengthen coordination between different government authorities intervening in the development of tourism, as well as to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors. Over the last few years, the National Tourism Bureau has successfully developed a number of joint initiatives with the private sector that have shown excellent results.
These initiatives have not only expanded the resources that are being channeled into the promotion of Chile abroad, but have also been essential in identifying new areas of tourist interest. Thanks partly to these initiatives, the number of overseas visitors to Chile rose by 14.8% in 2004, despite a 1.2% contraction in global tourism. Chile has emerged as one of Latin America’s most popular tourist destinations. This recognition serves to confirm that our efforts are pointing in the right direction. Chile is internationally competitive as a destination for nature and special interest tourism, precisely the areas in which world demand is increasing constantly. This ensures it is a highly attractive destination for modern adventurers. New and innovative investments will develop the tourist offer of Chile as an important long haul destination considerably. We at Protours are the first to seize these new opportunities, taking advantage of improvements in the infrastructure to satisfy the high expectations of our clientele. In this Sales Manual we would like to launch several of these new and high quality products.
OPERATIONS OFFICE SANTIAGO
Mardoqueo Fernandez 193-Oficina 102-Providencia-Santiago-Chile
Phone: +56-2-23344076 - Fax: +56-2-23344076
OPERATIONS OFFICE PUNTA ARENAS
Roca #843 - Piso 2 Oficina 3 - Punta Arenas - Chile
Phone: +56-61-615620 - Fax: +56-61-615620